France VAT Information
France introduced VAT in 1968, called Taxe sur la Valeur Ajoutée or TVA. As a member of the European Union (EU), France has fully incorporated all EU VAT Directives into French VAT laws. The French VAT law covers all details of VAT registrations, compliance, returns, intrastat and other related requirements. The Direction de la Legislation Fiscale along with regional tax offices are responsible for regulating the VAT regime.
The standard VAT rate in France is 20%, however, some specific goods and services are charged at a reduced rate of 10%, 5.5% and 2.2%. These are as follows:
Some foods, some medical equipment, some transportation, some hotel accommodation, restaurants, books, newspapers, magazines, agricultural products, etc..
When Should You Register?
If you are a foreign / cross-border company providing taxable supplies in France, you may be required to register for VAT and comply with all associated accounting and payment requirements.
French VAT returns are submitted monthly. However, if the monthly VAT returns are under EUR4,000, then the returns can be filed quarterly. Furthermore, if business if often late with VAT payments, it may be required to switch to monthly VAT filing.
For non-resident entities, the deadline for VAT filing is due on the 19th day of the month following the reporting period end.
Quarterly VAT returns must be filed between 15th to 24th of the month following the end of the tax period.
All French VAT obligations must be paid in EUR by the same deadlines as the VAT return filings. Electronic payments are accepted.
Fiscal Representation in France
France requires businesses not established within the European Union to appoint a fiscal representative for their Value Added Tax registration and reporting. These are directly and severally liable for the taxpayer’s VAT liabilities.
However, if a business is based in a country with which France has concluded a tax mutual assistance agreement, then this is not required. These businesses may register with a direct registration.
This list of countries currently includes Australia; India; Iceland; Japan; Mexico; New Zealand; Norway; South Korea; and South Africa.
Please note, China is currently not on this list and Chinese businesses will require a fiscal representative.
French Intrastat (DEB)
Movement of goods between France and other EU States must be reported through intrastat.
Intrastat returns only need to be completed once the reporting thresholds are exceeded. The threshold for French Intrastat arrivals is €460,000 and intrastat dispatches is €460,000. Monthly Intrastats should be filed at the 10th of the month following the movements.
Frequently Asked Questions | FAQ
What should I do if I receive an email from Amazon asking to upload my French VAT ID, while my French VAT Registration is being processesd?
Safari Star can issue a letter for clients that are in process of registering for VAT number, you can then upload this letter through Amazon seller central, and the sales platform will postpone the upload of the tax number as appropriate.
How can I tell if the French VAT I applied for is correct and valid?
Answer: The French VAT tax number inquiry website http://www.sirene.fr (this link can check whether the tax number is under the number, and the 9 digits after the tax number can check the 14-digit industrial and commercial number).
(https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vatRequest.html - This link checks whether the tax id number is valid).
You can fill in the SIREN number (whether the tax number is valid should be the last 11 digits) or the industrial and commercial number, the company's English name can be used to check the tax number, and the French tax office will update the latest number every day.
What is the difference between French VAT registration and UK or German registration?
The biggest difference between France and the United Kingdom and Germany is that France registration of VAT requires a tax representative in the local country.
What is SIRET
Siret numbers are 14-digit numbers that identify businesses, branches of businesses, and people associated with business activities. Businesses are given a Siret number when they register with the French government. It can also be called the business registration number.